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tv   Morning Meeting  MSNBC  December 31, 2009 9:00am-11:00am EST

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blocks from there, if you left it, it was gone. the good news is there was nothing in it. some folding chairs. it was a vendor's van. >> but there are comparisons to the christmas day bombing. the good news is nothing happened. the bad news is failsafes you think should be in place obviously didn't work. typically, especially this time of year, i don't know if you thought so, mike . >> a maintenance worker called the cops, said something doesn't seem right. now they're swarmed all over the city today. >> extra national guard troops, i hear. >> 4,000 nypd officers, snipers are on the roof and above them in areas that helicopters, police boats on the east in the hudson rivers.
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you even got detection for biological and radiation potential weapons aimed at the crowd itself. if several hundred thousand people show up and anyone among them is looking to make trouble, you can be sure thousands of law enforcement people will be looking at them in addition to all the surveillance cameras. it will be hard to make any trouble. also if you look out the window, it's snowing now. it is likely to rain tonight. it is very pretty right now. but it is likely to rain as well. it will be a tough night. hundreds of thousands of people will be there, hopefully as the mayor says, safely. today president obama gets his first report on how u.s. security failed to stop umar farouk abdulmutallab from nearly blowing up a plane on christmas day. how clues obtained by the cia, national security agency and state department weren't put together in time to stop the suspect. the national counterterrorism center which is supposed to connect the dots didn't. another issue -- how that
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intelligence is used to compile terrorist watch lists. senator dianne feinstein who chairs the senate intelligence committee says rules for who is moved to high priority watch lists should be eased to give the government more flexibility. at the same time, politico predicts the u.s. will stop releasing guantanamo bay bay prisoners to yemen for the foreseeable future. it is now clear abdulmutallab got help from al qaeda in that country. a group that includes former gitmo detainees. we'll be talking with a terrorism analyst about all those headlines in just a few minutes. breaking developments from finland now where police say a gunman has killed himself after shooting four people at a shopping mall near helsinki. there's also a report that a fifth body has been found in an apartment. she is identified as the suspect's ex-wife. the man was found in his home. we'll continue to bring new information as we get it. also breaking right now, reuters is reporting that pakistani police will ask a court to charge five detained americans with planning
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terrorist attacks and to jail them for life. those americans are from virginia. pakistani police say they contacted militants over the internet. no comment yet on this latest development from the state department. nbc news has confirmed it was an afghan army officer apparently wearing a suicide vest who killed eight american civilians inside a base in eastern afghanistan. it appears the victims include a mix of cia employees and civilian contractors. the taliban is claiming responsibility and says it had help from afghan security forces in penetrating the base. nbc's jim maceda is live for us in kabul, afghanistan. jim, any new information about how this man actually got on to base? >> reporter: hi, chris. well, there isn't any new information on that. there has been an investigation launched by the u.s. military, and hopefully some answers -- there are a lot of troubling questions out there already. the one you mentioned, how did somebody like that breach a high-security base where normally there are no a and a or
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a and p even inside, no afghan army or afghan police. there are a number of questions. the vetting process also comes to mind. the more the u.s. military is pushed to crank up the numbers, something like 50,000 to 60,000 are being asked by the obama administration this year alone, will that weaken the system and increase the possibilities of infiltration. there isn't a lot new. the cia hasn't made an official statement yet, probably trying first to contact the next of kin before making any statement. we do know, however, for some -- from former cia officials that these were -- these eight americans did indeed work for the cia. they were either staff officers or contracted workers. back to you, chris. >> jim, thank you very much. more breaking news on msnbc. we just got in the latest weekly jobs report for 2009. the labor department says claims fell unexpectedly to their
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lowest level since july 2008. first-time claims from recently laid off workers dropped by 22,000 to 432,000 people. continuing claims fell to just below the 5 million mark. we'll get a collection on how wall street is reacting 25 minutes from now at the opening bell. developing news. conservative radio talk show host rush limbaugh waking up in a hawaiian hospital this morning after being admitted for chest pains. a local tv station says limbaugh was in serious condition when paramedics reached him on wednesday. rush's radio show website says he is resting comfortably. it provided no additional information on his condition. limbaugh traditionally spends christmas in hawaii and is due to return to his show on january 4th. there is a disturbing story coming out of connecticut this morning. a funeral home cremated the wrong body, and, worse, no one even knew it happened until the family showed up for the wake. the mix-up happened with a 95-year-old woman when her
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children and grandchildren arrived at the funeral home, they found a complete stranger in the casket. that's when the home's director realized the mistake. the funeral home could be stripped of its license. cold conditions could be the reason behind the emergency landing of an american airlines plane in maine last night. the flight was headed from new york to paris. investigators believe a block of ice may have broken away from the plane. damaging one of its engines. new year's revellers here in new york might want to bring their own umbrellas and some really, really warm gloves. snow and rain and sleet in the forecast for tonight across the eastern united states. if you want a warmer climate to usher in 2010, miami, vegas and los angeles are the places to be. nbc news meteorologist bill karins has your weather channel new year's eve forecast. we just ran into each other in the hallway and were saying how pretty it is here at 30 rock. >> it is. we should have the song "let it snow" or something like that. >> strike up the band! come on. >> i got to get with the times.
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it is a beautiful scene. it is not often you get the 30 rock tree covered in the heavy, wet snow. people are out there taking a million photographs. this is as pretty as it gets. just a quick blanket of snow moving along areas of new york city, long island, spreading up 95 and interstate 84 right through the state of connecticut. this is only a quick 1 to 2-inch snowfall. the snow has already come to an end in pittsburgh. unfortunately, around baltimore and also d.c., had a little more ice instead of snow. i know it is not quite as pretty. when you get a storm like this at this time of day, you'll get some airport delays. philadelphia right now an hour and half. amazingly, new york city airports are saying no delays. but this storm just moved in in the last hour so i imagine those will grow a little bit. anyway heading out to times square this evening, people are wondering if it will still be snowing or the snow will turn to rain, looks like the storm will just about be out of here. during the day today, 1 to 2
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inches. later tonight, snow flurries or showers, right around 30. it will all melt on the pavement as we go through the night. the other area of concern, the pacific northwest. chris, that's probably the worst weather in the country for our friends waking fup portland, seattle, tonight looks very damp and windy. >> have you ever had your picture taken outside that tree? >> never. >> you live here and you take all this stuff for granted. you can't walk down the street because people are taking their pictures in front of the tree. >> that's because we assume it's always going to be here. >> or we assume we're always going to be here. i think new york is safe. we're just getting started this hour on msnbc. straight ahead, our broken national intelligence system. how do we fix it? everyone's pointing fingers but what are the solutions? we'll ask terrorism experts on the other side of the break.
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the first reports on misintelligence regarding the christmas terror plot are due to land on the president's desk today. the key question -- how different pieces of information about umar abdulmutallab were never put together despite the presence of an entire agency, the national counterterrorism center, that's design to do just that. charles pena is a terrorism analyst and even the head of the 9/11 commission said, charles, that awful lot of these questions sound eerily similar to the questions we were asking after 9/11, inspite of the fact that we've spent at least $40 billion on airline safety. where should the finger be pointed here? >> well, i think we should be really careful about pointing too many fingers in too many directions. first and foremost we need to understand that airline security at airports last weekend primarily designed to try and find weapons on passengers, not
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looking for explosives. you couldn't expect the system to find something it's not set up to find. as far as the intelligence community is concerned, we have to remember that sharing of information is a difficult thing for bureaucracies to do, no matter how hard we try to fix that problem. it is an inherently difficult thing. >> what's so inherently difficult about it? we have an entire agency that's been set up, funded, staffed, in offices in virginia, to do exactly that. >> that's exactly true. but government itself is not really set up to share information the way bureaucracies are designed and the way the incentives are put in place. it's not that it's impossible to do. and certainly we should do a better job at it. but i think people do need to understand that information sharing is really difficult within government bureaucracies -- >> you keep saying that, charles, but what's so hard about it? it gets entered into a database. there is access to that database
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and you may not have "a" piece of information that says "red flag red flag this guy's actually going to try to pull something off." but when you get three, four, five pieces of information that put together ought to present a pretty clear picture, i don't understand what's standing in the way of that information being accessed, or with modern technology all coming together given that it is the same person. >> two issues here. one is access to the information. that means who controls the database and who controls access to that. within government, there's a lot of times much more of a protection here, need to protect the information rather than need to share. we're trying to change that culture in government but that change is going to take a long time. it doesn't happen overnight. but the second aspect -- >> it's not overnight. 9/11 was eight years ago. >> change happens very slowly inside large bureaucracies. there is just no other way to put it. so you can -- it's been eight, nine years since 9/11, but
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change is still happening within government and we've gotten better but we're not there yet. but another issue is connecting the dots. so even if the information is made available to everyone, it's easy to connect the dots looking backwards from a known event. it's much harder to connect dots when you're looking at them not knowing what might happen in the future. one of the things that we do need to keep in mind and balance is, okay, if we could have connected all the dots in this instance and maybe stopped this particular incident, but in how many other cases would we connect dots incorrectly and maybe falsely accuse an innocent person of potentially being a terrorist? and we do need to keep that in mind, too. >> it is not about false accusations. it is about somebody showing up at an airport and being told you cannot get on that plane. but we're out of time, unfortunately. but charles you wrote about this today and people can look and see your point of view as well.
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we thank you for being with us. happy new year. from congressman joe wilson's "you lie," to those state dinner party crashers, the mom in chief to billions of bailout cash. the political landscape gave us a whole lot to talk about in 2009. who fared the best? this morning, u.s. "usa today" with the list -- the mom in chief not only keeps the white house running but adds a touch of flair with a vegetable garden and poetry slams in the east room. fed chief ben bernanke is credited with staving off the next great depression. and former alaska governor sarah palin emerged as a best-selling author on the side. those given not-so-high party marks. the salahis, john ensign, john
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edwards, and mike huckabee whose presidential hopes may be dashed by past pardons. john decker, a correspondent for reuters and lynn sweet, washington bureau chief for "the chicago sun times" join us. lynn, who are the big winners this year? >> barack obama and michelle obama. he had a year where obama won the nobel prize. they just by virtue of being the president and first lady, having this improbable journey ending up in the white house, that's a winner. four years ago, remember, he was a state senator. >> john, does that make him a winner? do we judge him for where he is now which seems to be with sinking popularity ratings? >> yeah, if you look beyond those numbers, he's at about 46%, 47% in most public opinion polls. i agree with "usa today," he is a winner. he passed his economic stimulus bill early on in his presidency and seems to be right now on the cusp of passing this health care overhaul in the very start of the new year.
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so, yeah, he is definitely a win zble . >> what about srarah palin, jon? >> sarah palin is a winner. can't think of someone who's garner so much attention as sarah palin. she's a ratings magnet. she'll certainly play a very important role in 2010. mid-term elections. if she wants she can play a very big role in the 2012 election as well. i think she is a winner as well in 2009. >> what about the losers, lynn? >> anyone involved in a sex scandal who is an elected official, that would be mark sanford, john ensign, john edwards, i think there's one more we're even forgetting. but there is an improbability, isn't it, that out of what is essentially a small fraternity of major elected officials in this country that you have so many? we just picked three that were caught this year. if you look at the past few years, there's more. here's why they're big losers.
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some political figures can emerge from crisis and get new beginnings and get to put stuff behind them. this is just a much tougher situation to move on from. though by the way, these losers, losers can move around. look at eliot spitzer. he's very active in trying to remake his image. looks like he'll get a second chance. >> jon, what separates an eliot spitzer or bill clinton from a mark sanford? >> well, in some respects it might be their personality, and also the ability to move beyond the incident which gave them some sort of infamy. for bill clinton, it's his foundation, the work that he does on behalf of so many people all across the world. in terms of eliot spitzer who's trying to remake himself, remake his image, i think it helps that the governor that succeeded him is not doing so well. and as a result, new yorkers may think, you know what? we may not have had it so bad under eliot spitzer. >> can i say, my favorite poll
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of the entire year was the one that showed that the most admired woman in america was a virtual tie between sarah palin and hillary rodham clinton. could we get two polar opposites? maybe it tells us a bit of the polarization politically in america. >> i can tell you real quick, they're both very warm personalities. different ends of the political sphere but they have a high like ability factor and women are very interested in them. >> thank you both. happy new year. up next, where's your spirit? why liquor companies don't va lot to toast to this new year's eve. ringing in 2010 in some places around the world the new year is already here. we'll check in on some of those celebrations. and from party crashers to cheating dads. are no-names the new big-names in american pop culture? we'll talk about it after the break. the favorite flavor with a fever on top.
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if you bought a bottle of expensive champagne this year, you might be one of very few. liquor companies report well below-normal sales. what's responsible for the shift? behavior? nbc's michelle ckosinski is in ft. lauderdale. michelle, i remember -- you probably do, too -- when the recession started coming in and they were talking about who actually might benefit, some thought it might be liquor companies. >> reporter: yeah, some analysts say that's just sort of an old wives tale, that that's not actually the case in times of economic downturn. the economy has really been sobering, i guess, in more ways than one. i promise that's my last pun of 2009. in this story, abc fine wine and liquors in ft. lauderdale, everything, everywhere you look seems to be on sale.
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that's what retailers have had to do. this perrier, $12 off its normal pricing. it's almost all sold out. when you look at numbers they are really surprising, especially for champagne. last year sales to britain were down 33%. and to the u.s., down 43%. french producers shipped 4.5 million fewer bottles to the united states. volume wise we are looking at levels that were equivalent to around 1998 levels. it is a very unusual to see. some warehouses were even shipping bottles back to france because the demand is down. demand for distilled spirits is also down. people are buying the less expensive bottles, in some cases they're buying sparkling wine instead of champagne. some of those producers of the less expensive brands are actually doing well and seeing some growing numbers, chris. >> i also think that a lot of people actually don't like champagne. so people have parties and they open it, but they find that a lot of the glasses are left full. so why have a $100 bottle and
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you can leave a $5.99 bottle basically undrunk just as easily. right? >> chris, that is a great point. some of the wine analysts that have been quoted have said that because the carbonation in champagne kind of obscures the taste of the grapes, when they do blind tastings even among people who know wines and know champagnes, they often can't tell the difference between the really expensive stuff and the much, much cheaper, more popular brands that we might pick up in our corner shop. you're right, chris, you're absolutely right. >> word to the wise. thanks, michelle. happy new year. >> take care, you, too. time for today's hot shots, video you've got to see to believe. scuba lovers rejoice. this sinking ship is soon to be the hottest dive site off south beach. miami-dade officials intentionally sunk it to the ocean floor to beef up the area's marine habitat and attract more underwater explorers. forget the old west style
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round-up. a helicopter is corralling these horses. it is part after two-month-long effort to round up 2,500 wild horses in the mountains of nevada. the horses will be fed, then put up for adoption. frosty's got nothing on this snowman. a winter wonder built by a chicago resident during the most recent snowy blast. you got to think that's going to be a big mess of a puddle when the weather gets warmer. the final opening bell of 2009 just moments ago. next. then the latest round in the war of words between dick cheney and president obama. why does the white house keep fighting back? also, millions of jobs lost in 2009. will 2010 be the year cht tuof turnaround? and a sighting of tiger woods. you're watching new year's eve on msnbc.
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two natural wonders. one sweet taste™. there it is, wall street's final opening bell of 2009. a year that's marked a dramatic turn-around for the stock market. if all goes well today the dow will end the year with a 20% gain, the first gain since 2007. since the dow's 12-year low in march, stocks are up more than 60%. some parts of the world are already celebrating 2010. a massive fireworks display underway in new zealand. the nation celebrated with a display over the landmark sky tower. sydney, australia rang in the new year with more than 11,000 pounds of explosives for its extravaganza over harbor bridge. nbc's dawna friesen is live from london with more on new year eve celebrations around the world. happy new year to you. >> happy new year to you, too,
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chris. london is planning quite a show. they always put on a good one, expecting 2 million people along the thames. fireworks along the london. sydney calls it the world's biggest party in australia. they always do, don't they? about 1 million people came out to watch the fireworks display there. new zealand to put on a pretty good display. i think we are looking at sydney harbor there. new zealand did theirs over the sky tower in their capital city. something a bit different we saw. there is new zealand. there we are. that looks like a pretty big party, too. for something a little different, look at romania. this is what they call a traditional -- there are the
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drums. bear dance. there they are. look at that. it dates from prechristian times apparently when dancers wore colored costumes or animal furs and they went from house to house singing and dancing to ward off evil. according to legend, chris, if a bear enters your house, it brings good health and good luck. but just watch out for those claws. >> well, if it doesn't eat you. there is that little problem. hey, dawna, have a great night tonight. i'm sure all of you guys at the london bureau have a big party planned. chris, the bureau chief there, is going to throw a big soiree. >> pop the champagne cork. >> you guys should get it cheap. thanks, have a great night. >> you, too. new information on how the passengers on an american airlines flight survived that cash in jamaica last week. investigators say the seats installed on flight 331 are actually designed to absorb impacts up to 16 times the force of gravity. the faa requires airlines to install these seats on all new planes but they're not required to retro fit old planes.
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>> anything like that, whether you change the seats out, costs money. and the faa's very sensitive to the airlines' complaints about costing money. >> but all 154 passengers on that plane with those new seats survived the crash. the president gets his first report today on that failed christmas day terror attack and what could have prevent ared the scare. this has the white house is firing back an harsh criticism from former vice president dick cheney. cheney accused the president of trying to pretend we're not at war. but communications director dan pfeifer calls it the typical washington game and goes after the former vp by name -- "the former vice president makes the clearly untrue claims that the president needs to realize we are at war. i don't think anyone realizes
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this very harder than president obama. we are not at war with a tactic terrorism, we are at war with something that is dangable, al qaeda. nbc chief white house counterchuck todd is traveling with the president in hawaii. obviously this must have stung to put this post out there. >> reporter: i think they realized vice president cheney's prit sic criticisms of national security issues over the past year have been echoed. so like he will make a statement, then the republicans on capitol hill and other republicans in the party will echo them and so before i think the white house believed ignore vice president cheney, he's not a major player inside the republican party, et cetera. now they realize that what he says ends up almost dictating exactly how many other republicans end up reacting as well. so i think they feel confronted this time. think on this one they were especially perturbed for a
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number of reasons. number one, they believe that this was a way of politicizing a terror attack in the midst of the sort of post-mortem trying to figure out how it happened, which was different from what the democrats did for instance during the shoe bomber, richard reid, where they didn't politicize at the time. so i think they felt like that it was what the republicans knew was wrong so they want to push back on that. then this idea that the president doesn't believe there is a war when he just sent 30,000 troops or just signed the order to send 30,000 troops to a war zone, chris. >> let me ask you about that report that he's expecting to get he said a couple of days ago when he spoke that he had told the agencies thursday he wanted at least the preliminary report on what went wrong here. do we know when that's going to happen and is the white house going to give us any indication of what's in those preliminary reports? >> reporter: well, i think that part of the reason they put the president out two days ago, that was -- he was sort of previewing
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what's coming from that preliminary report. if we hear from the president today, it means there was even more new information over the last 48 hours from when the president last spoke. i'm told we're unlikely to hear from him today, that it will probably just be a statement and that the review itself, we're already hearing some of the new things that it will immediately be put into effect. for instance, the state department will make sure that visa information about suspected terrorists or suspected extremists, u.s. visa information will be well known to the intelligence community immediately, proactively, rather than just assuming, oh, somebody else will check that database which clearly is what happened for instance in this case. and there will be a few other sort of stop-gap policies immediately put into place. but the bigger picture is, why weren't the dots connected and as we keep looking, it looks like more and more fingers are pointing at the national counterterrorism center. they're saying they didn't have
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all the information to do the dot-connecting. more and more evidence is coming out that, well, maybe all the information was there, was it just -- do we have too many bureaucratic issues that are blocking analysts from connecting the dots. i think that's what we're going to hear congress deal with in the next couple of weeks when they do congressional hearings in the middle of january, chris. >> chuck, happy new year. thanks very much. >> happy new year to you. for the first time we're getting details of tiger woods' meeting with the florida highway patrol three days after his thanksgiving car crash. according to a spokesperson the golf star had "a fat lip" but no other facial injuries. also authorities reportedly said they had no reason to believe woods was the victim of domestic violence as had been widely speculated given the golf club that was involved. dream of fame and riches in 2010. if the past decade has thought us anything, becoming a celebrity may not be as hard as you think.
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these days nobodies are becoming somebodies in the blink of an eye. how did the heidi montags and kim kardashians steal the spotlight. in studio, senior editor for "us weekly." are we just proliferating people who are famous for just being famous? >> not only that. technology is making it happen even more. can you go on youtube, myspace, facebook. people are creating celebrities in their own world and getting fame off of that. colbie caillat who got a record deal because of putting her songs up and getting tons and tons of hits. then we have susan boyle who is probably the success story of the year. >> though arguably she has real talent at least. >> but she's the first youtube superstar. it is even advertised on her album. you get a sticker and it's "as seen on youtube." not requests at seen on
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"american idol" like you normally saw. she didn't even have her reality show broadcast here. she came to america and was known primarily through the intern internet. that's the only way. >> we all have friends we say, they're a real character, they're entertaining. it just seems there is a show for somebody like that. they put a camera in your house, if you're moderately interesting they put you on a cable station, next thing you know you are an international superstar. >> it's not stopped. obviously the most current sort of example that we have is the jersey shore. really just a few regular kids from around the new jersey area meeting up and partying. they just put cameras on and it is a ratings blockbuster. just goes to show sometimes it's very, very simple to sort of get these very complex things in life. >> is it any indication that our appetite for this is waning at all? >> i do believe that there will eventually be a lot of white noise. there is only so many people that can keep thrusting themselves in front of us
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without us getting tired of it. so that's going to be the very interesting thing in the next decade to see just how much this can continue. but right now, if you look at the a-listers, they're people famous for pretty much doing nothing. you have to give paris hilton credit for something. >> some real stars are staying a little more private because folks are focused on the car dash yaia dashians. >> they all want the attention, whether they are a legitimate actor or actress. >> even if they say "i just wish they'd leave me alone." thanks very much, ian. a michigan school has released its annual list of verbal banishments for words or phrases it deems misused, overused or generally useless. this year's casualties, courtesy of lake superior state university, include tweet, app,
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sexting, czar, teachable moment and shovel ready. phrases like lol and tmi show absolutely no signs of going away much too our chagrin. we've got a whole lot ahead today right here on msnbc. next hour, who's getting hollywood's hottest statue. more breaking-down of the early oscar buzz. then at noon eastern, the christmas present that could turn into a new year's nightmare. if you thought the health battle was over, think again. we'll look at what lies ahead for 2010. but next, protecting partiers. what goes into securing the biggest new year's celebration in the world? we'll ask a former top official for the city of new york. don't go away. and all of these. paid invoices go right here. bang! - that hasn't been paid yet. - what? - huh-uh. - all my business information is just a phone call away-- to my wife... who's not answering. announcer: there's a better way to run your business. intuit quickbooks online organizes your business in one place. it easily creates invoices
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hundreds of thousands of new year's eve revellers will be
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greeted by a massive police presence in times square. thousands of nypd officers, including rifle-wielding rooftop snipers, plain clothes officers mingling with the clouds, some officers equipped with radiation and biological detecting devices. the fbi has an off-site command center to share and offer intelligence and information with the nypd and other law enforcement. the security consultant for giuliani partners joins us. happy new year. >> same to you. >> we had this scare yesterday with that van. if people go down there feeling confident, do you think? >> absolutely. there's no finer organization when it comes to security than the nypd. >> because they've been through it so many times? >> so many times. every new year's eve. every yankee parade. every event that happens, the u.n. general assembly. the organization from top-to-bottom is used to dealing with events of this size. >> there are so many people just on the look-out really for
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something suspicious. what are they looking for and what should people going down there avoid? >> well, there are a number of things they are looking for. they are looking for people acting inappropriately. they're looking for people who have been told not to bring things and have things. they'll take that away from them. they're looking for anything out of the ordinary. it's very important that the people who go to this event, if they see something out of the ordinary, to call, to let people know. because if you see this and you don't say anything, you're not doing what you're supposed to. they would rather have false alarms than have the real thing, just like yesterday. >> thanks for coming in. happy new year to you. coming up, the state where golf carts are about to become street-legal. that and other bizarre new laws going into effect at the stroke of midnight. next. of steam-in-the-bag vegetables and the great taste of sauce. try green giant valley fresh steamers. each bag microwaves in minutes, steaming the vegetables until they're cooked to perfection.
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now to the job outlook for 2010. more than 7 million jobs have been slashed by the two-year recession.
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a little more than an hour aing, we got an improving snapshot. first time jobless claims fell by 22,000 people to 432,000. the lowest since july of 2008. also better than analysts were expecting, ongoing jobless claims fell to 4.9 million. and more encouraging news for job seekers. one in five employers say they plan to add full-time help next year according to a survey. but 61% say they have no plans to change staffing levels. so will 2010 mark a big right hand rebound for the job market? let's ask senior writer and columnist for "business week." when i first saw those numbers i thought is this seasonal numbers being hired, is that why we saw some of the claims going down. overa overall, do you think this is an improved picture? >> very cold comfort. some of the stats show us, there is still such a yayning, painful disparity between the quality of jobs and the millions and millions of people out of work
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who are just jumping at the chance to line up when a position does open up that does pay a decent living wage and potentially benefits on the side. so it's not connecting the dots by any means. >> and, in fact, we know the so-called real unemployment rate that economists, you know, look at, the broader picture, is about 17.2%. people who have gone to, say, part-time work or given up the job search all together. what are you looking for in 2010 that might spur job creation? >> i'm looking for something to come out of left field, some secular type innovation, some trend that isn't as dependent upon the vagaries of the service economy. some innovation. for example, we're seeing it in green tech and clean tech. we know health care spending, there's still a lot of money going into health care, still growing for better or for worse, and people are showing up. so it's a matter of as willie sutton said, follow the money. >> if people are looking to go into a new career, and they maybe are looking maybe going back to school or training, what are some of the places you see over the next five to ten years that are going to be areas where there actually will be job creation? >> we do see it. and i know shovel-ready is a
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banned phrase for this year. >> yes, it is. >> we are seeing an infrastructure, clean tech, to the extent some states get the trained money, hospitals are expanding. the ones very much on the down end are hospitality, real estate, some of the more disposable things that we can do with our money. but the essentials are getting money. >> all right. rob, have good fun want to. he told me he is taking his wife out to dinner for the new year. have a good evening. >> thank you. here is one way to vet your frustration to the new year. introducing whack a banker. that's like whack a mole. you can go after pop-up babbling bankers. it's proving to be so popular, the mal let's are wear out more than normal. gee, wonder with that is. much more ahead on msnbc. if you're lucky enough to have cash next year, what should you do with it? we'll ask a personal finance expert. so stay with us. (announcer) where are people with moderate to severe
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right now on msnbc, ringing in the new year around the world. we'll show you where it's already 2010. and we'll show you a celebration live, as one country says goodbye to 2009. meantime, here the at home, security gets tighter in times square after a square involving a strange van turns out to be nothing. new questions about who dropped the ball in the christmas-day terror plot. and how to keep the same mistakes from happening again. a new report comes out today with possible answers. rush limbaugh sent to the hospital in hawaii after suffering chest pains. the latest on his condition coming up. plus -- ♪ >> the early oscar buzz. a look at who is on the short list for the academy aawards. good morning, i'm chris jansing. we'll have all that, plus where
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to put your money in 2010. but let's start with now, less than a week after passengers foiled the terrorist plot on the detroit-bound plane, the president is getting his first look at two reports exchange how umar farouk abdulmutallab got on that plane in the first place. several intelligence agencies had had pieces of information regarding the nigerian suspect, and the review is designed to figure out how it was distributed. one key focus, the failure of the national counterterrorism center to connect the dots. another possible point of contention. why u.s. flights in the air at the time of the failed attack weren't notified. the tsa says they made a strategic decision to only notify flights coming in from europe. and as officials take a closer look at umar farouk abdulmutallab's time in yemen, it's now clear he got help from all died in yemen, a group that includes former gitmo detainees. we're also getting our first descriptions of the moment that
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umar farouk abdulmutallab tried and failed to detonate the explosives hidden in his lap. elaine gota was sitting one row away, and appeared exclusively on "today" and described the moment when he realized something was wrong. >> i saw smoke coming out of his body. >> and you were the first to stand up and yell "fire." >> yes, i was the first to report fire. and a passenger then stood up and jumped over, and within a minute or so, we saw a big flame coming up higher than his face. >> and you went in, i know, and tried to use at that point bottled water, right, to try and extinguish the flames. >> we passed on the bottleded water and the blanket i had on. so passengers were trying to put the fire out as we were waiting on the fire attendant to bring the fire extinguishers back to the scene. >> and that means that you were very close to the man. so did he react as he was being severely burned? did he say anything? >> no, unfortunately. he did not say any words, he did not yell, he did not scream or
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anything at all. the whole process, basically did not hear his voice. >> as we mentioned, the president gets that preliminary report on the failed airline attack. he is expected to meet with his national security team to talk about it. the strategy jazz comesing a day after form vice president dick cheney hurled criticisms on the white house, turned back on the bush administration. quote, this president is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action. seven years of bellicose rhetoric succeeded in dividing this country. why the response now, mike, do you think? >> well, good morning, chris. i think it was interesting in the way the white house chose to respond to dick cheney, of course, making those comments yesterday to politico. you know, in the past, when dick cheney has attacked the white house, dithering over the afghanistan policy is the most recent example, at least the most high-profile example, the
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white house has really welcomed a fight with dick cheney who remains deeply unpopular and a polarizing figure. he may motivate people on the right, but certainly motivates people on the left, as well as many independents. and the white house has welcomed that fight in the past, and late yesterday they put out that blog by the white house communications director, dan fiver, that you mentioned. and in addition to the things that you mentioned coming into me, they also point out, as they have pointed out in the past, they accuse the bush administration of focusing too much on iraq, which they believe was the wrong war and not focusing enough on fighting terrorism in places like afghanistan, for starters. but now in yemen and somalia and other places, chris. >> let's talk about that report today. again. because the counterterrorism adviser, john brenn an helped design the system, and yet in charge of reviewing and making suggestions. is there a concern about a conflict of interest there? >> this was actually brought to the white house council and the white house segment i think so
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adviser, because john brennan, the white house adviser on homeland security, was actually the interim chief of an organization called the unanimous as i say corporation, a national security consulting firm that apparently did some work in had consulting on the creation of the nctc, the national counterterrorism center, that is so much in the news in the last days. if you remember, chris, it was after 9/11, and after that high-profile 9/11 commission report, a series of hearings and then recommendations and a big fight in congress to restructure this nation's intelligence community, and create, among other things, the nctc, and the director of national intelligence. and now a lot of people are saying, wait a minute, we had this argument five, six, seven years ago about a failure to connect the dots. about a failure to share information on the part of national security agency. the cia. the state department. which should have had a notification many people believe when his father, the suspect's father, approached them and told them about his son's radicalization. he still had a visa, he still got on that plane. a lot of people thought that
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these prisons were fixed a long time ago. apparently they're not and that's what has led for the president to ask for this preliminary report that he will get today in hawaii, chris. >> thank you very much. and still ahead, a live report from pete williams in washington on the agencies coming under fire in the wake of this incident. that's coming up in just a few minutes. now to new york city's times square where a massive security team is on high alert, ahead of tonight's big new year's eve celebration. nbc's amy robach is in the crossroads of the world with details on what revellers can expect. >> reporter: good evening, a snowy start to new year's eve, and already busy here in times square as police premium for over a million people in a small concentrated area in a few hours. they will be penned in at 3:00 or so, no food, no bathrooms, no drink, but there will be a huge police presence as we mentioned. police on the rooftops, on the ground. they have high-powered rifles, they have bomb-sniffing dogs, they have radiation detection
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devices. security is going to be heightened, of course. especially following a scare yesterday where there was a van with blacked-out windows, no license plates, parked right near where the festivities will take place. for two hours, times square was shut down, evacuating buildings and people, and had a bomb squad come in. it turned out to be nothing, but shows the precautions police are willing to take to make sure everything off without a hitch around midnight. and the ball that's been dropping since 1907 has a new design this year, 300 new waterford crystals that have a celtic knot symbolizing courage. michael bloomberg will be on hand to push the button. so hopefully a good time by all, and more importantly, a safe new year's eve. back to you. >> amy, thank you. we'll hear from the weather channel later on to check the new year's eve forecast where you are. updating you on the breaking store from finland.
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police say a gun man shot and killed four people, and his girlfriend before taking his own life at his home. still ahead this morning, new word on the nation's unemployment numbers. does it show signs the economy is improving? we'll show them to you, next. also, hundreds of drivers hunting for their cars after a major snowstorm. we'll explain why. and a survival story. a dozen puppies alive and well after being left for dead in a dumpster. this is msnbc. our best square. then let's do more than talk about it. let's turn picturing it into planning it, thinking it over into making it happen. let's say out with the old and in with the new. let's create some wall-to-wall "wow." [ man ] ♪ oh! [ male announcer ] more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, get any carpet installed for just 97 bucks -- any brand, any style, any number of rooms.
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2010 has not yet begun here, anyway, but democrats and republicans are already angling for the november elections. with polls showing he's in control, ben nelson took to the air waves last night to defend
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his health care vote and appeal to constituents. >> some oppose any change, others want a government takeover. but i listened to you and took a common sense approach to improve the bill. >> nelson is just one of the democrats facing a tough re-election fight in 2010. others include arkansas senator blanch lincoln, louisiana's mary landrieu, and connecticut's chris dodd. with the president's popularity sliding and tea parties gaining traction, is the scene ripe for a republican takeover? next year? joining me from washington, d.c., democratic strategist and former communications director for john edwards. and on the other side, former deputy assistant to george bush, george blakeman. before we start the new year, gentlemen, let's look ahead to 2010's elections. chris, what do you think? could democrats be in real trouble here? >> i don't think we're in real trouble. i think it depends on a lot of factors that we're starting to see emerge in terms of the economy. the economy starts turning around. i think the narrative, the republicans are trying to build goes away. i think health care once it
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passes is going to rebound in terms of popularity. so i think in terms of the overall conditions, i think the -- the democrats are a pretty good spot, given that most midterm elections, the incumbent party that controls the white house tends to lose seats. so i think it all depends on how the next six, seven months, turns out in terms of the economy and other factors. >> brent, in your crystal ball, what will be key, the health care, the economy, all of the above? >> it's all about the economy, and i think that's where the democrats' achilles' heel is, they have turned a blind eye to the economy, concentrated almost exclusively on health care, which became a fight not with republicans, but their own party. they're going to find that to be the case if they take on immigration or cap and trade in the spring. it's all about the economy, it's all about jobs. and i think unless the democrats pivot and pivot hard and make some real success in the economy, they're going to be in real trouble in 2010, both in the house and the senate. as well as state houses, as well. >> yeah, and as i've been talking to a lot of experts
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wrapping up this year, chris, a lot of things the government has done, let's say some of those tax credits that you would think encourage more people to buy houses, have not been quite as successful as a lot of economists hoped they would be. how worried are you in terms of the democrats' election and the economy? >> well, let's remember where we were in terms of the beginning of the year. you know, in terms of -- what president obama inherited, a financial crisis or series of crisis -- >> realistically, would people vote on that next year, or are they going to vote on where their pocket books are at that employment? >> they're not going to vote on that, but the fact that the president and the democrats have helped turn around, stabilize, and helped turn around the economy. if you start seeing in terms of job growth and the gdp numbers grow again, you're going to see, i think, you know, the american people say, wait a second, there is one party, the democrats, that are actually tackling the tough problems, and republicans are going out there and playing politics on the economy. no solutions, no ideas, but a lot of empty rhetoric. so i think at the end of the day, it really depends on
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whether the economy turns around. if it does, i think democrats are going to be in a really good spot. >> what do republicans have to do in a proactive way, brad, if they're going to take some of these seats? >> what republicans have to do in starting as congress comes back in january is start talking about what they would be for, what they will change, if -- if it our fortunes change in 2010. but really, it's all about the economy. and if unemployment continues to be 10% nationally, 17% in urban areas, look, what good is affordable health care if they're able to pass it, if people don't have a job to afford it? so i think republicans all about the economy. hopefully the democrats are going to be, again, stymied by their own party. >> brad, chris, happy new year to you, device. >> happy new year. >> thanks. out this morning, a better than expected report on unemployment to wrachb wrap-up a blut al year for job seekers. first time claims for recently laid-off workers dropped by 22,000 to 432,000 people. the lowest level since july
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2008. continuing claims fell to just below the 5 million mark. a new poll out today finds 82% of americans say their optimistic about their family's outlook next year. but that same apgfk poll also finds nearly 2/3 think their finances will worsen or stay the same in the new year. and what a difference a year makes. the stock market is about to end 2009 with its biggest come back since 2003 when the dow gained 25%. after plunging to a 12-year low in march, the dow is now set to end 2009 with a 20% gain. let's take a look at how the markets are doing right now. in if red, the dow down almost 30 points. the s&p and nasdaq in negative territory, as well. we'll keep our eye on wall street for you today. officials at a hawaiian hospital are refusing to comment on the condition of conservative radio talk show host rush limbaugh. he was taken to the hospital yesterday after complaining of chest pains. joining me now, politico reporter andy barr.
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any word on rush's condition? >> you know, the hospital as you were saying, not confirming his condition. his staff saying he's there, stable, fine, remaining at the hospital. hasn't been released yet, so we're still awaiting word. >> he has a history of some health problems, right? >> are yeah, he has had some health problems. this past year lost a lot of weight. so i think people are surprised he has this heart condition. of course, went to the hospital yesterday after complaining of chest pains while he was at a resort. >> yeah, even his -- i guess you would say his opponents talking about this hospitalization. he's become -- an even bigger force in the last year, hasn't he? >> he certainly has. you know, he is someone who, with -- with kind of a void of one central voice, given the mega phone that he has on a daily basis, someone the right really looks to. and certainly as someone who kind of is a voice for the conservative grass roots for folks who are out there, maybe the tea party folks or whatever, but really kind of driving the debate on that side. >> we wish him a swift recovery, and thanks, andy. happy new year.
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appreciate you talking to us. >> happy new year. >> still to come this morning, left behind. hundreds of people looking for their cars after a severe snowstorm forced them to abandon them. also, get ready to duck. see what happened when dozens turned out for a snowball fight. . and we'll show you celebrations in the cities where it's already 2010. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? host: did the waltons take way too long to say goodnight? mom: g'night john boy. g'night mary ellen. mary ellen: g'night mama. g'night erin. elizabeth: g'night john boy. jim bob: g'night grandpa. elizabeth: g'night ben. jim bob:'night. elizabeth: g'night jim bob. jim bob: g'night everybody, grandpa: g'night everybody. jim bob: g'night daddy. vo: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more. ( cracking, crash ) that was delivered fast! it's not delivery and we'd like it back.
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break out the party poppers and the confetti. it is official 2010 in new zealand and in australia. the two nations sbraed the new year at 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. eastern time. in sydney, an estimated 1.5 million people attended the annual fireworks display over the city's landmark, harbor bridge. new zealand set off its own display over the land mark sty tower. and hundreds of oregon drivers are going back for their cars after a severe snowstorm forced them to abandon their rides on
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the side of the road. the number of displaced vehicles is at more than 1,000. tow trucks are helping to clear the cars and reopen roads. an overnight storm peppered areas of south georgia with snow and sleet. temperatures are expected to drop as low as the mid 30s with rain creeping in tonight. all right. we're just getting some breaking news. the latest major corporation to break ties with tiger woods in the light of his sex scandal, at&t now saying it will sever its relationship with tiger. we'll have a lot more on this coming up as we get more information. but the number of u.s. corporations severing ties with the most popular athlete in the world until recently. tiger woods now growing to include at&t. get out your warm gloves and heavy coats. this is already standard winter stuff, in a lot of parts of the country, but what about as we ring in the new year? a lot of outdoor parties, including here in new york city.
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nbc meteorologist bill carrence is here with your weather channel forecast. hey there. >> chris, you try to do something and it just doesn't quite work out? >> oh, gee, never. >> remember last hour, when we were going to go out in front of the tree and take your picture? >> you have it? >> i tried. the tourist that took the picture. let's see. take the weather computer up here, and you can see it for yourselves. and, yeah. it just didn't quite work out quite right. much maybe a little white balance necessary, can't see the top of the tree, can't really see me. but we tried. >> but we actually see that you're there. either that or you're standing in front of our wall that has the picture of the tree. >> i did walk outside. i did do that. >> good for you. >> the snow is just about over in new york, a pretty 1 to 2 inches, and times square won't be an issue later tonight. everyone in connecticut, rhode island and massachusetts, what hit here in new york earlier is now rolling through where you live. so just a real quick 1 to 2 inches. it is affecting the airports, though, new york and philly, 1.5 hour delays, and that will head into logan later.
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later, snow showers in times square, 34 degrees. last year, it was 8 degrees and the wind chill was in the negative. so this will actually be a nice evening in times square. on the west coast, our friends waking up in it portland, heavy rain for you, major winter storm rolling through. probably the worst weather on in this new year's eve will be found in the pacific northwest with cold rain, heavy mountain snow and wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. the other thing chris was mentioning is the coldest location, the northern plains. it is going to be a cruel start to the new year's. it's 11 today in minneapolis, and your forecast, as we go into the new year is just down right punishing. that is your high temperatures, lows in the negative numbers. wind chills even worse. they get weeks like this, doesn't mean they want them, chris. happy new year. >> and they're also used to it, and it's a beautiful city. but that is cold. >> yeah, that's not fun. >> yeah. thank you, bill. for more on the forecast for your new year's eve, head to weather actually, it's, isn't it? yeah, will do it. >> sounds good. taking a look around the globe, hundreds of japanese took
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part in the annual shinto ritual on the last day of 2009. that ceremony it held in shrines across the country. it's believed to purify the body and mind before the new year. snow day in england. northern wales and england were blanketed with a heavy dose of winter weather yesterday, closing roads, keeping residents inside. today crews are working to cheap up that mess. and evac aees in the philippines may be spending the new year away from home with a continued threat from a rumbling volcano. experts believe a major eruption may be just around the corner. the 8,000-foot mayan volcano has been spewing molten lava and ash for the last ten days. there is a batch of puppies saved from a california dumpster. look at these guys. 11 four-week old border collies found in a trash can outside a market in selma, california. they have now been handed off to a local animal rescue group for placement. >> it's such a sad story. it's a regular story for us in
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the rescue world. and we need people who are animal lovers to come and help us. >> the compassion team is looking for good homes for the pups. they'll make sure they're vaccinated and ready for adoption in the next month. oh, they are cute. still ahead, more on that breaking news. cnbc learning at&t has now ended its sponsorship with tiger woods. more on that in a moment. also, helicopter pilots become cowboys in a controversial round-up. more on this after the break. ( sighs ) ( music throughout ) hey bets, can i borrow a quarter? sure, still not dry? i'm trying to shrink them. i lost weight and now some clothes are too big. how did you do it? simple stuff. eating right and i switched to whole grain. whole grain... studies show that people who eat more whole grain tend to have a healthier body weight. multigrain cheerios has five whole grains... and 110 calories per lightly sweetened serving. more grains. less you. multigrain cheerios.
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#ñ#ñ#ñ#ñññññññññññññ announcer: trying to be good to your heart? so is campbell's healthy request soup. low in fat and cholesterol, heart healthy levels of sodium, and taste you'll love. chef: we're all kind of excited about it. guy: mmm! i can see why. announcer: campbell's healthy request. m'm! m'm! good! for your heart. another financial blow for tiger woods. let's go to cnbc and mary thompson who has the very latest. what can you tell us, mary? >> chris, at and is t just released in a statement from at&t, and it reads this way. we are ending our sponsorship agreement with tiger woods, and wish him well in the future. a very i should say terse and short statement. at&t joins gillette and accenture in dropping their
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sponsorships of the golfer, of course, who has come -- or hasn't been seen, i should say, since thanksgiving weekend incident with his wife after which was revealed that a number of infidelities by the golfer. so a number of sponsors deciding they don't want to be associated withel world's greatest golfer anymore. not because of his playing prowess, but because of his prowess, i guess, in other ways. >> we appreciate it. for more on at&t's decision, let's go to tom o 'neill of "in-touching wi "in-touch weekly." should we be surprised? at&t, they had the name on the side of his golf bag, sponsored one of his tournaments. >> this is quite a big deal, because all of the other sponsors are saying the same thing, we're putting this on hold, we're going to stand by and see where this plays out. one by one, they're going. also, there was a study released this week that said that of all of the companies that he has relationships with, that they have lost $12 billion in terms of their value because of this problem with tiger woods.
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>> stock value, yeah. how much interest has there continued to be in this story, and do you think, tom, that maybe he is hurting himself by not coming out and saying something? >> yeah, and we don't even know where he is. that's the other thing. so -- >> and all these rumors are flying, in the absence of fact, you know, i heard everything from that he was in rehab for sex addiction to he was down in florida partying with one of his girl friends. >> exactly. and so he's got to get a grasp on this and take charge of this story before further damage continues. now, in terms of sponsorships, he still has american express, he still has nike, which, of course, makes the most clothing and gear for the golf crowd. he probably won't lose that. but he's losing the confidence of his fans and the business industry. he needs to do some damage control. >> because it's always sort of a two-edged approach, isn't it? one is obviously he's the greatest golfer in the world, arguably the greatest golfer of all-time, although his quest to have the most majors is on hold, at least for now. but the second part of that, obviously, is his public image.
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and some guys do very well with a bad-boy image. he built this billion-dollar empire on being the good guy. >> and on being a hero. and heroes don't run from trouble. heroes like superman swoop in and take charge, even when things go bad. now, come on, a sports figure, a sex scandal, who is surprised with that? nobody, really. now, this, of course, has enormous scope and enormous damage control he has to do. but still, he could recover if he was taking charge of this story. but by this continued silence, it's literally costing him. >> we were going to talk to you about the oscars, instead this story broke. best picture? >> "in glorious bastards." >> thanks, tom, and thanks for your this breaking news. four people dead, a gunman on the loose after a shooting at a finnish shopping mall, one of the headlines making news this hour. a witness says the gunman was dressed in black as he opened
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fire. police say there were hundreds of people inside the mall at the time of the shooting. two hikers are dead, three injured, after an avalanche in poland. the pikers were at the foot of the mountain when it happened. a search is under way to make sure no one else was buried in the snow. and the deaths of two men in a string of fires in massachusetts have been ruled homicides. the men died in one of nine suspected arson fires that struck north hampton sunday. so far, no arrests. chilling new details are emerging in yesterday's suicide attack in afghanistan. it's the deadliest attack in the region since october. eight americans are dead, at least one is a state department worker. there are reports, several of the other victims worked for the cia. it happened at a military based in the eastern city of khost, south of kabul, and that's where jim joins us live. how did the bomber get around security? what have you been able to learn about that? >> reporter: that's right. that is the big question, chris. and everyone is still asking,
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there is an investigation going on. we're hoping that over the next hours, but more likely days or weeks, we'll get some answers to that question. the taliban today claiming responsibility said that this man, this individual, was a suicide bomber, not just dressed in a uniform, but he was an actual afghan army officer who may have turned. the question, of course, is how do you -- how do you do that, often with money, offering up more money than you're making in the afghan army, which is often a miserable sum. but beyond that, how does somebody like that, in an army uniform, breach a high-security u.s. military base where, according to at least one afghan general, there are no ana, afghan national army, or police, operating inside. and, of course, it raises this question, as well, about vetting. it's almost impossible to vet out everybody, but we are in a situation now, in a period, where there's incredible pressure on u.s. commanders to
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crank up the machine, the recruiting machine, talking about 50, 60,000 more just this week. that's going to weaken the system, say some that are afraid of this talibanin filtration within the ranks of the ana and anp. >> chris, thank you very much. officials in the u.s., yemen, britain, nigeria, working to retrace the steps of umar farouk abdulmutallab. but as the president seeks answers about how the nigerian man slipped through intelligence cracks, there will be increased scrutiny on how well the countries worked together. steve emerson serves as executive director of the investigative project. let me ask you about those four. the united states and the three others. on paper, should all of them work well together? >> well, theoretically, just one of them should work well together, that is the agencies and the u.s. government that were responsible for maintaining the watch list, collected the intelligence, making decisions about visas, about who gets on
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to an airplane. who gets secondary screening. that should work. but it didn't work, obviously, and the president is going to get a report today how much more so in terms of catastrophic failure of the inability to integrate the intelligence from nigeria, from yemen, from the cia, from britain. so i think that there is a -- that as the president said, from there is a systemic failure, and he's going to get a report today, and i understand it's going to be devastating in its indictment in the agency in the u.s. government. >> i was talking to another terror expert last hour, and he said, look, this is a huge bureaucracy, and there is still a lot of ingrained reluctance to share information. do you think that's so? >> i think that's one of reasons, absolutely. look, every agency basically gets a budget based on what it does, in terms of the intelligence that it generates, or its own proprietary information. so there's a certain inherent selfishness that's going to occur.
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there is no reward for sharing information in the bureaucracy, unfortunately. and so that basic -- that imbalance there has to change. there has to be an incentive for someone to take the intelligence, integrate it, and then make the hard decisions about who gets on to an airplane, who gets a visa, who gets a boarding pass and who gets a secondary inspection. all four of those decisions were not made. >> how important is this relationship between the united states and the u.k.? obviously, the u.k. denied him a visa. we know of students with young activists there for years, certainly since 9/11, we have been watching it fairly closely. what do we need to know about the -- sort of the things that are going on right now in the u.k. in terms of radical extremists? >> well, there have been some extraordinary reports over the past week, ever since the christmas day plot, about the background of the islamic groups that mutt mu tal ab was
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associated with. and they showed they portrayed, the quote, narrative that is worldwide history, the narrative as a u.s. war against islam, that the united states was engaged in war crimes, that the united states was the most evil country in the world. that narrative radicalizes young muslims. not everyone, but certain percentage of 24e78 them. and we didn't take note of that. but the brits did. and when he applied for a renewal of his visa, they realized that he wasn't -- that he was lying about something. and that he was a danger to british society. so they denied him a renewal. we didn't make the same decision. we should have, because we had even more intelligence, we had intelligence from june of this past year, where u.s. signal intelligence or electronic intelligence picked up a report saying a nigerian would commit an attack, and then, of course, his father walked into the embassy in aden on november 19th, chris. >> and he bought that ticket in
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cash and didn't have any luggage. and the list goes on. steve, thank you. always good to talk to you. i hope you have a great new year. >> thank you. the u.s. intelligence breakdown will be the focus of " "meet the press" this sunday. former secretary michael cherhoff this sunday, check local listings for times. still ahead, how airports are installing full body scanners. we'll have that report in our next hour. controversy over that wild horses roundup we told you about last hour. officials are using helicopters to move and corral 2,500 wild horses in nevada. but protesters call it inhumane and saying officials are keeping them from monitoring the activity by keeping it on private land. federal officials say the roundup is happening on private land because it offers the best access to the animals. the long-term plan for the horses is to feed, immunize them and put them up for adoption.
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a lot more ahead this morning, including more on the breaking news. cnbc learning that at&t is ending its sponsorship with tiger woods. also in our next hour, how a mysterious van was overlooked in all those security sweeps of times square for tonight's ball drop. . then, what's behind a drastic drop in liquor sales? a live report from florida with the answers. you're watching msnbc. hey! announcer: you don't drive every time you smoke. yet you smoke every time you drive. driving and smoking don't have to go together. re-learn life without cigarettes, free, at a new way to think about quitting.
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new zealand and sydney, australia celebrating the new year with massive fireworks displays. but look at what's going on right now in times square. people starting to come in there. oh, i was supposed to start with that. so now we have gone to the fireworks displays in australia and new zealand. nbc's donna friesen is live with more. how are you, donna, i hear it's your birthday, by the way. >> now, how did that information cross over there? i would like to know. >> i don't know.
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>> hmmm. >> modern technology. an amazing thing. >> we've even popped the champagne cork. fortunately, it's plastic glasses, never mind, it's the content that matters, right? >> how much of that did you have before doing this hit? >> none. >> okay. >> none. so london is planning a big party here as they always do. they have these fireworks extravaganza long the thames, and count down the final seconds of 2009. 2 million people are expected to lynn the river to see it. just about eight hours from now. and travel on the tube and the buses in london will be free, and running until 4:30 in the morning to make sure everybody gets home. so it's always a good time out there. australia, as we saw a little bit already, they always put on a very good show this time of year. sydney did it, again, of course. they call it the world's biggest party. probably is. about a million people or so are estimated to have come out to watch the fireworks display
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there. to welcome in the new year. about 1,100 pounds of explosives, we're told, were used to create this display in sydney harbor. cost about $3 million to do. some people camped out overnight to get the best vantage points. not to be outdone, though, new zealand also but on a pretty good show. that's just the finale, i think, over the sydney harbor there. and moscow getting ready, as well. minus 14 in moscow today, and snowy. so -- >> nice. >> yeah, nice to be there today. and romania. oh, there we go. look at that. >> it's pretty. >> it's red square. yeah, and they put up a lot of christmas trees there. around this time of year. and with the snow falling, it's just great. apparently, so they say, rugsians actually prefer it to be cold and snowy, but wrote romania, you don't see this every day. dancing bears. this is a tradition that dates back to pre-christian times. dancers wore bear costumes and other colored costs.
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they went house to house, village to village, singing and dancing, to ward off evil. and according to a legend, if a bear comes to your house t brings good health and good luck. unless it eats you. >> and maybe a heart attack. i don't know if i open a door and there is a bear -- hey, do something fun tonight. double reason to celebrate for you, each and every year. >> there is always a party, chris. >> all right. wish i was there. >> happy new year to you. >> happy new year, thank you. and happy birthday. >> thank you. now to today's hot shots. the videos that caught our eye. first to south florida, where some divers got that sinking feeling, but this was no accident. environmental officials in miami-dade intentionally sunk a 200-plus-foot freighter, making it the biggest artificial reef off the miami coast. from the tropics to the dead of winter, more than 100 people made the best of a cold situation in sioux city, iowa, coming together for a massive snowball fight. it was organized, where else, on facebook. and hey, bankers, take that. you have heard of whack a mole.
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in britain, they have whack a banker. customers can take advantage of those bad ceos, and guess what, the game is so popular, the mal lets are wearing out. new year's is often a big money maker for hollywood, and this weekend, movie goers can see the ground-makings sky-my movie "avatar," which grossed more than $200,000 million so far. george clooney is in the running for receiving the most golden globes this year. but there may be a few upsets in the work. joining me, blogger for the oscar site, tom o 'neill. i didn't even know avatar was breaking records. let's talk about the oscars, because there's 15 or 25 nominees in each category, right? >> they expanded best picture to ten. >> i was going to say, i don't like this. but that's me. let's start with best actor. who are the front-runners?
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>> we have two. jeff bridges in "crazy heart. >>". >> just saw that, he is terri c terrific. >> and george clooney. george clooney has never won in the lead category before. he won for supporting. it's a serious best picture contender. his cary grant role, looking like a million bucks, great. but not a show we role. jeff bridges gets to stumble around drunk for two hours. this is what nicholas cage won for "leaving las vegas." >> but has anybody seen the movie? is. >> no, but the oscar voters get it on dvdss. >> best actress. what do you think? the five top likely nominees might be? >> well, the five will be gabby sidibe from precious, sandra bullock for the blind side, meryl streep for julia and julia, and carry mulligan for an
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education. >> she is wonderful in that. she is fantastic. >> she is. and helen miran for the last station. >> who will win? >> i think it's close between gabby, mer i will and sandra. and if she gives that heart rendering acceptance speech, she can be oscar bound. that's how hilary swank did it and jamie foxx. if she blows it or doesn't win this is meryl streep or sandra bullock's race. >> is sandra bullock in hollywood, because we know popularity counts, she has had a lot of successful movies, but this is the first time she has had real serious oscar buzz. >> it is. she start in "crash," the best picture winner, but didn't get nominated herself. she just had her biggest year ever for the proposal, blindside, both surprise hits. >> we love that. women of a certain age love that. and finally, best picture. >> everybody is saying "avatar",
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and of course that's james cameron who gave us "titanic," but the oscar goers don't go for fantasies, chris. >> there is a lot of criticism that this plot was stolen, et cetera, et cetera. it's a beautiful picture, but best picture, i don't know. you love "inglorious bastards", the only movie i haven't seen on this list. i have to see it. you also think it sort of fits into the mold that oscar goers like. >> they pick based on who directs them. quinton turn teen owe has not been in the going since "pulp fiction,". precious is not a great directorial achievement. i'm trying to think what else could beat inglorious bastards. they don't vote for mid east war movies. so by process of elimination, i think "inglorious bastards" wins
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it. >> some join me, and we'll see how they go. still ahead, where to put your money in 2010, and if you're thinking i'm going to stick it under the mattress, experts say you could be missing a real opportunity. we'll have that story, next. when it comes to dance partners, working together is a thing of beauty. ( inhales deeply ) you have to be in sync every step of the way. like the incredible scent of gain detergent... and fabric softener. ( inhales deeply ) the key... is staying focused. ahhh! magnifico! carlos. the incredible matching scents... of gain detergents and fabric softeners. sniff sniff hooray!
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you're looking live at the countdown to the new year at victoria harbor in hong kong. thousands gathering to watch a fireworks celebration, all starting in just seven minutes as the clock strikes midnight in that part of the world. 2009 is ending on a mixed note when it comes to the economy. wall street poised to make its biggest comeback in six years with the dow on track to close up 20% for 2009. great news, if you have money in the stock market. but still dragging down the economy, the unemployment rate. 10%. more than 7 million jobs have been lost to the two-year recession. here with some advice on what you should do with your money for 2009, personal finance expert mariano oshefsky, great
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to see you. you have tips on a financial action plan for 2010. let's go over them. what would you say is the number one thing people need to do this year? >> well, thank you. i think the number one thing that people need to do, first of all, is to relax and destress about your money. i suggest everyone just in case something happens, as we know, a lot of unemployment and people are losing their jobs, is to have an emergency plan, and an emergency savings plan, which means put six to eight months of your living expenses into a savings account. so that you you have it just in case anything happens, just in case you lose your job, or just in case you get -- there's a health crisis or something happens. it's very important to have this emergency plan. i stress that a lot. >> you also tell people no pay off their debt, which we know people have been doing this year, and also, fund your
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retirement account. >> i think funding your retirement account in 2010 is so important. i always say, you can get a student loan, you can get a housing loan, you can get a business loan, but you can't get a retirement loan. so you have to start early. you have to start when you're young, when you're 23 or when you're 24, just try to put $25 or $100 towards your retirement can. account. and also ask your company if they match your retirement. sometimes companies actually contribute to your retirement account, your 401(k) plan, which means if you put $1,000 in, they'll match that and put another $1,000 in, which is basically free money for you. so check that out. >> that's the way to have a happy new year. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. the new year will bring some surprising new state laws, always does. in nevada and louisiana, novelty lighters will become a thing of the past. the states are banning the sale of the specially-designed lighters that can look like cartoon characters, guns or play
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musical notes. the co sponsor calls them cute but deadly. the newark arc prohibits toy dealers were selling guns that look too real. fake guns for theater productions are exempt, so it may not have a big effect on retailers. you can expect to see more golf carts around town in illinois. golf carts can now legally be driven on roads with posted speed limits of 30 miles per hour or less. new license plates are being designed for the vehicles. and still ahead, more on that breaking story we told you about. the end of the deal between tiger woods and one of his biggest sponsors. we'll have that at the top of the hour. you're watching msnbc. (announcer) the more you experience muscle pain... the more you expect from your pain reliever. tylenol 8 hour eases body pain... with one layer that works fast... one that lasts all day... and no layers that irritate your stomach the way that ibuprofen can.
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then let's do more than talk about it. let's turn picturing it into planning it, thinking it over into making it happen. let's say out with the old and in with the new. let's create some wall-to-wall "wow." [ man ] ♪ oh! [ male announcer ] more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, get any carpet installed for just 97 bucks -- any brand, any style, any number of rooms. right now, get any carpet installed for just 97 bucks -- sea salts vary in color and taste. one tops them all. adding it helps us use less salt than before in campbell's tomato soup while keeping the famous flavor. ♪ so many, many reasons ♪ it's so m'm! m'm! good! ♪ so, hey, coach, what are you doing here? well, dan, since i lost 32 pounds on nutrisystem, i feel so od i thoug i'd take your advice and get back in the game. it's so exciting meet you, coach. you look great! wow, coach, you really are backn the game. you, too, dan.
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that's4 breaasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks. so, coach, how is the squad looking? best ever. you know, i have a real hall-of-famer at the helm. l.t.?! why not, danny boy? i lost 35 pounds on nutrisystem. ready? l.t. andheerleaders: okay! pizzas, pastas, burger meat! comen, guy food is all you'll eat! stt the year off right. order now and can get two weeks ofeals free. plus, you'll get the all-new nutrisystem jumpstart kit, our secrets to uimate ightoss. call or clk now. we're all back in the game thanks to nutristem. [ cheering ] right now on msnbc, almost one week after the attempted bombing of a u.s. airliner, president obama is getting his first look at two reports detailing the security and intelligence lapses that almost
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led to mid-air disaster. health scare. conservative radio talk show host rush limbaugh rushed to the hospital while on vacation in hawaii. plus, welcoming a new decade. millions across the globe bid farewell to 2009 with fireworks and hopes for a better 2010. right now, the countdown is on in new york times square, where thousands of police, fbi and members of the joint terrorism task force are conducting a security sweep. that's in anticipation of the tens of thousands who are expected to turn out for tonight's ball drop. that's a live picture right there. and we've also got live pictures for you from taiwan where revellers have gathered around the nation in the tallest building around thai pai. also live from hong kong, the party just about to get started in victoria harbor, where another massive fireworks display, just seconds away from lighting up the sky. there you see it. good morning, i'm monica novotne. president obama will today receive the first preliminary reports, one on intelligence,
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the other security. now, the first report focuses on which intelligence agencies had leads about the planned attack, and why those -- why the pieces weren't put together. the second examines aviation security at u.s. airports. nbc news political director chuck todd is with the president in honolulu. check, what more can you tell us about what's in this these reports? >> well, we're already hearing a little bit about what's coming through the reviews. the president talked about both human and systemic failures. among the human failures that we already know, something about, it has to do with how reports were filed out of nigeria, out of yemen, out of different agencies from nsa, who does, you know, for instance, overhearing of phone conversations, to the meeting with the suspect's father in nigeria. how that information was sent to the national counterterrorism center, who is in charge of connecting the dots. that's part of the human failures we're hearing about. the systemic have to d


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